Water makes up to 65% of the human body and is involved in all bodily functions, from temperature control, flushing out waste, and aiding brain and muscle function. It is the medium through which chemical reactions takes place, allowing absorption and transformation of oxygen, hormones and nutrients.
Roles of water in the body :
- Regulates body temperature by producing sweat in order to stay cool. If this water is not replaced, then your body temperature will continuously rise.
- Promotes healthy mental function. Being dehydrated can impact your mental function, as you may experience headaches, shortened attention span and difficultly concentrating.
- Plays a role in protection of joints and aids performance as assists in lubricating joints and help keep tissues supple.
- Helps excrete waste through urination, perspiration and defecation. Enough water is needed to replenish the fluid lost through sweating.
How much water should you be drinking?
It is important to be aware of how much water you are drinking, as most people with feel thirsty on a regular basis, ensuring they are getting an adequate amount of water. While others, do not feel thirsty as often, resulting in an overall lower water intake.
The recommended guidelines for water intake is between 2 to 2.5 litres of water per day, and up to 20-30% of that comes from the foot we eat. This amount may vary depending on the amount of exercise your do or climate you live in.
The first indications that you may be dehydrated include; Fatigue or exhaustion, thirst and hunger, dark urine, mood changes, weakness and slow responses and, confusion or headaches.
Lack of water while exercising can result in becoming dehydrated very quickly. During exercises, your body sweats as a way to cool the body down, and when combined with deeper breathing, results in more and more fluid being lost. Many crucial nutrients and electrolytes are lost along with water.
The amount of water needed during exercise depends on a number of factors, such as workout intensity and duration. The clothes worn while exercising and environmental conditions, also play a role. In order to prevent becoming dehydrated and ensure optimal performance while exercising, it is vital to be getting the right amount of fluids, before, during and after you exercise. Aim to drink water at least every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising.
Facts about water which you may not have known:
- Our body is made up of around 65% water, which declines with age.
- Cucumbers are a great source of water and contain up to 96% water and may be a good option when water alone is not enough.
- The thirst reflex only appears once the body is already dehydrated and an earlier sign to look out for is darker urine.